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Unmet Need for Social and Emotional Support and Lack of Recalled Screening Is Associated with Depression in the Long-Term Course After Stroke.

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PURPOSE: Details on adequate care and prevalence of depression in long-term stroke aftercare are limited. We aimed to determine long-term depression rates after stroke and to test for an association between depression and inadequate screening, socio-economic complications and lack of sub-optimal care. PATIENTS AND METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, 57 patients were re-invited into the clinic 2-3 years after stroke. Patients were interviewed about recalled screening concerning depression and unmet needs. Depression, the patient's social situation, and confounders were assessed by standardized scores. RESULTS: In our study, 20% (n = 11) of patients were classified as depressed by the HDRS-17 score result. However, only 36% of all patients recalled to have been previously screened for depression and only 43% of those patients also recalled out-patient screening. Patients classified as depressed reported significantly lower recalled screening rates (9% vs 43%; p = 0.036) and higher rates of self-reported unmet need with emotional problems (72% vs 18%; p < 0.001). Depression in our study was further associated with a worse socio-economic situation, fewer social contacts, unmet needs with regard to emotional problems and higher rates of recommendations to apply for additional social support. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that systematic out-patient screening for depression is lacking in stroke aftercare. Furthermore, the high rate of unmet emotional needs, the poor socio-economic situation and the higher rates of recommendations for social counselling and application for benefits suggest an undersupply of care in the out-patient setting that is more prominent in patients with depression and warrants further studies to investigate the underlying causes.



depression, health-care quality, risk management, social-care, stroke

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Risk Manag Healthc Policy

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Informa UK Limited